Guest Blogger: John Robinson
February 12, 2013 | Written by Chip MacGregor
We’ve been hosting some guest bloggers recently, and I wanted you to hear from John Robinson, an author who has been taking his out-of-print novels and putting them up as ebooks on Amazon…
The 60′s rock group Steppenwolf (yes, I’m that old — bite me) had a line in one of their songs that went, “It’s never too late to start all over again.” And at age sixty, that’s exactly what I’m doing with the first book of my Joe Box trilogy.
A bit of history: Way back in 2002 I came up with a crazy idea… what would happen if I took a rough-cut, world-weary private eye (one of my favorite genres to read), and then, through a life crisis, got him religion? How would his life change? How could he (or even would he) manage to balance his admittedly gritty profession with his new walk of faith? To me, that was a great set-up to a story.
The idea grew, and we were off to the races. The result was a former alcoholic cop turned PI named Joe Box, and the book was called Until the Last Dog Dies. I made Joe an amalgamation of guys I knew growing up — policemen, Vietnam vets, smartasses, and drunks — and then gave him a shadowy past, a high IQ he keeps hidden, and a lonely heart he keeps buried deeper still. I thought he’d make a terrific character for the CBA market… the prodigal son returns.
I was wrong.
I sent him out to every CBA house I could think of, and each time the reply would come back, “John, you can write, no question, but this guy, Joe Box… no. No way. Most of our readers are women, and he’s going to scare them to death. If you write something else–ANYTHING else–we’ll be happy to take a look at it. But not this guy.”
The problems was, I didn’t want to write something else. I had more stories about “this guy” in the wings. I was on the verge of throwing in the towel when the very last house I queried finally read it, got it, and offered me a three-book deal.
Happy ending, right? Not so fast. Right as Until the Last Dog Dies was going to press, the house was sold, and the new owners rather joyfully told me they had no idea how to sell fiction. But they said they’d sure give it the old college try. The net result was that the book died a quiet, peaceful death, as did the next two I was under contract for. And there they sat, ready but unread.
Jump ahead to today. I now have the rights back to all three Joe Box novels, and they’re all up on Kindle at three bucks a pop. And, as they say on late night TV, “But wait… there’s more!” On Monday and Tuesday, February 11th and 12th, the first book will be absolutely free. As in zip, nada, no charge.
“But why, John?” some of you might say. “Have you gone crazy?” Well, yeah, most likely, but that has nothing to do with my offering my book for free. I figure that after two days of my novel being free, word might get out that it’s a pretty good read, and some people will pony up the three bucks for their own copy. Like my logic? I hope so, since Chip asked me to tell this story in order to let other writers see what I’ve gone through. I took the book, did some editing, got it formatted, and posted it myself on Amazon. It’s not terribly difficult, but there are certainly some hoops to jump through.
Will it work? That’s up to you, dear reader. Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/bbbejh8 , so spread the word.
And now it’s time for me to slide into some elephant bells and love beads, fire up the lava lamp, and slip some Steppenwolf onto the turntable. Pax, man. The 60′s rule.